What can a game designer do apart from gaming? This is like asking “What can a chef do apart from eating?” You know, gaming is the act of playing a game, while it is very important for a game designer to be well-versed on games, mechanics, tropes and so on, it definitely is not the only thing they can or ought to do.
Game designers are people who design games and this requires to know about games, but, among others game designers can:
- Study games: game designers are able to take games apart and "observe their guts" this way, they are able to find out what makes a game fun and thus feed their own designs.
- Propose mechanics: game designers often want to be innovative in the rules of their games.
- Propose creative aspects of the game: a game designers’ role is also to give the “flavor” of a game.
- Write stories: while not exactly the job of a game designer (more of a writer I’d say) writing stories is most of the time an essential part of a game.
- Build prototypes of games: game designers test the games to see if they are fun for a target audience.
- Meet that audience: …in order to know what they want; this requires some people skills.
- Study other things apart from games: game designers deal with emotional and cognitive aspects of human beings in order to propose interesting gaming experiences. Knowing other stuff (think psychology, math, history, computers, etc.) helps them to achieve this feat.
Game designers are designers. Their skill sets must be varied and strong so their product appeals to their intended audiences. Gaming is just a part of it, and when game designers are gaming not for fun, but as part of their work, they often find themselves not playing as any other person, they are applying their analytical skills to leverage newer experiences.
That said, of course we like to play, chefs eat all the time, and that develops a fine taste. It is fun and delicious. You should try it.
This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions: